Bhutan, a mysterious country located amid the Himalayan Mountains, is resided by the kindest Bhutan people led by a wise king. Profoundly influenced by Buddhism over hundreds of years, Bhutan people respect the spiritual life and embrace the idea of harmonious co-existence between nature and human being. Around 40 years ago, the former King of Bhutan had already proposed the idea of “Gross National Happiness” (GNH) as the primary governance guideline to replace the notions of GDP or GNP. To implement this guideline, Bhutan government has consulted prestigious psychologists for government administration, and imposed strict environmental protection policies to preserve the cleanness and purity of the country’s air, water and soil. These prospective policies have led Bhutan to become not only the purest land in the world, but also the last Shangri-La of the world.
Nowadays, the pure water source, unpolluted soil, prosperous forests, and vibrant ecosystem have altogether constituted the invaluable assets of the Bhutan country. It is internationally recognized that all products originated and exported from Bhutan are organic, natural and pure, and these products are even not required for custom inspection in many countries.
This mysterious country is around 38,000 km2, more than 74% of which is covered by forests. Even though the forest coverage rate in Bhutan is so high, the government still enacts the “Land Act of Bhutan” and requires every household to plant at least ten trees per year. So far, a rich variety of precious trees, including Bhutan pine, shala tree, oak tree, abies, spruce tree and birch tree, have been widely planted in the land of Bhutan. Also, many rare and endangered species and wildlife (such as black-necked crane, snow leopard, red panda, Bengal tiger, grey heron, golden snub-nosed monkey, and Indian elephant) have found their habitation in this isolated land.
With more than 95% of the land covered by the Himalayan Mountains, Bhutan has extremely considerable altitude drop, creating various geographic features. Due to the special geographical conditions and economically underdevelopment along with the strict enforcement of environmental protection policies, Bhutan preserves the most diverse ecosystem and the highest species density in the world. Therefore, Bhutan is named as “the Kingdom of Medicinal Herbs” for its wide variety of plants and precious high-mountain herbs. Although we live in the age of modern agriculture, where the uses of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are prevalent in all types of agricultural produce, we still can easily find all-natural and chemical-free herbs without any efforts in Bhutan. This respect for nature corresponds with what the Fourth King of Bhutan had mentioned in his foresight of the country – Bhutan's treasure will lie in the nature itself.
Harmonious co-existence between Nature and human
Bhutan is known as “the Kingdom of Medicinal Herbs” for its rare and supreme plants and herbs nurtured by its special geographical environment, and Bhutan has further become the treasury for doctors of the country. People in Bhutan can easily find special plants and herbs which are uncommon and rare in other areas of the world. It is a common practice for local residents to use herbs for disease treatments.
“Sincere Respect for Nature” is the fundamental attitude of Bhutanese toward environment. Bhutan is a Buddhist country since the Kingdom was established in the 17th century. The spirit and belief of Buddhism have influenced the philosophy and daily lives of Bhutan people. For hundreds of years, many great masters had visited Bhutan. With their holy blessings for this land, people of Bhutan build up their own lifestyle of happiness. Meanwhile, the plants and animals of this land grow with special vigorous energy. Therefore, local herbs which are made through traditional processing methods are proved to contain beneficial and healthful medical effects, which have thus attracted the attention of numerous experts of Energy Medicine and Naturopathy all over the world.
Environmental Protection and Organic Policy
In terms of economic development, Bhutan is significantly underdeveloped; however, Bhutan is an activist in the field of environmental protection, as well as a pioneer in international organic movement. The King of Bhutan understands the close bond and inseparability between nature and human being, and is unwilling to sacrifice the land for short-term interests. To fully protect the forests in this country, it is clearly stated in the Constitution of Bhutan that the government shall ensure a minimum of 60% of Bhutan's total land being maintained under forest cover for all time. Furthermore, the government also imposes allotment of wood for house construction to control the consuming of woods. To keep the forests intact, Bhutan even built the hydroelectricity power stations with underground power house, which took them 12 years to dig tens of kilometers between the mountain walls.
Since 2012, Bhutan government drew up a 10-year project – to become the first country in the world with 100% organic farming in the upcoming 10 years. This project is highly appreciated and supported by many other countries. Hence, experts of organic agriculture from other countries regularly visit Bhutan for professional knowledge exchange and issue discussion on organic agriculture.